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Brain Res Bull. 2006 Feb 15;68(6):474-81. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Densities of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in non-malformed hippocampal sclerosis-temporal neocortex and in cortical dysplasias.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, Charles University, 2nd Medical Faculty, V Uvalu 84, 150 06 Prague, Czech Republic.


The changes in density of inhibitory parvalbumin-immunoreactive interneurons were quantitatively studied by immunohistochemistry in a series of human neocortical samples comprising the spectrum of malformations of cortical development (MCD) encountered in epilepsy surgery and the non-malformed hippocampal sclerosis-temporal neocortex in patients with refractory temporal lobe epilepsy. The highest relative density of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells was obtained in the control samples (n = 21). The number of parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons was significantly decreased in non-malformed hippocampal sclerosis-temporal neocortex (n = 73, 80.5% of control values). In a proportion of the latter samples as well as in two controls we observed patchy regions of absence of parvalbumin staining. The total counts of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells in all the categories of MCD - "mild MCD" (n = 25), focal cortical dysplasia type I (n = 19) and type II (n = 15) - were decreased representing 72.4%, 55.0% and 12.2% of control values, respectively. Significantly different parvalbumin-immunoreactive cell densities were demonstrated between the focal cortical dysplasia types IIA and IIB. In "mild MCD", we observed a more pronounced decrease of parvalbumin-immunoreactive cells in the infragranular layers. No significant differences were revealed between the temporal and extratemporal examples of analogous MCD types. This study provides evidence for reduction of inhibitory parvalbumin-immunoreactive interneurons in the epileptic neocortex affected by MCD as well as in morphologically unaffected epileptic temporal neocortex, thus representing a possible mechanism for their epileptogenicity.

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